This Week in Kentucky Basketball History: Mardi Gras Miracle Edition

On Tuesdays throughout the 2015-2016 season we will take a trip down memory lane and look back at past great plays, players and games associated with University of Kentucky men’s basketball for that given week. So be sure to check back with us each and every Tuesday to relive the moments that make the winningest Division I men’s basketball program so special.

Feb. 14
1938: With Kentucky and Marquette deadlocked at 33 with under a minute to play in a jam-packed Alumni Gymnasium, senior Joe Hagan took one of the most famous shots in school history. With 12 seconds left, Hagan threw up a desperation shot from 48 feet away that miraculously went into the basket, as the Wildcats defeated the Warriors 35-33 in a thrilling finish. The moment was forever remembered when Kentucky Governor Happy Chandler came down to the floor and pounded a nail into the court where the shot was taken.
2001: No. 22 Kentucky's offense was almost too much for Thompson-Boling Arena to contain, with the Wildcats scoring 103 points, on astounding 61-percent shooting from the field, in their eight-point victory over Tennessee. The Wildcats' most impressive showing was from behind the arc, where they made 14 3-point field goals on 66.7-percent shooting. The duo of Keith Bogans and Tayshaun Prince combined to made 10 3s and score 52 points to lead Kentucky. This is the second-most points ever scored by Kentucky against Tennessee, and the most since March 5, 1955.

Feb. 15
1913: Kentucky used a stifling defense, limiting Louisville to just one made field goal, as the Wildcats thumped the Cardinals 34-10 at the Buell Armory Gymnasium in Lexington. R. C. Preston scored more points than the entire Louisville squad, leading all scorers with 13 points. This was the first-ever meeting between Kentucky and Louisville in men's basketball.
1990: Kentucky used its pressure defense, forcing No. 9 LSU into 24 turnovers, and what some people say was the most raucous crowd in Rupp Arena history to lead the Wildcats to a 100-95 upset victory over the Tigers. The Wildcats also took advantage of LSU's physical play, making 27 of their 34 free-throw attempts. Kentucky also overcame a minus-17 rebounding margin to get the win. The duo of Deron Feldhaus and Derrick Miller scored a combined 53 points to lead Kentucky. LSU's Chris Jackson poured in 41 points, while Shaquille O'Neal pulled down 21 rebounds.
1994: No. 11 Kentucky had 24 minutes of play against LSU that it soon wanted to forget. With 15:34 remaining in the game, the Tigers were embarrassing the Wildcats by the score of 68-37. But then something magical happened, a "Mardi Gras Miracle" of sorts. Over the final 15:34 of the game, Kentucky mounted a furious comeback, outscoring LSU 62-27 to defeat the Tigers 99-95 in the greatest comeback in Division I men's basketball history. The Wildcats took the lead for good when Walter McCarty made a 3-point field goal from the left corner of the court with 19 seconds remaining to put Kentucky up 96-95. Two factors in Kentucky's comeback was its shooting from behind the arc and LSU's futility from the charity stripe. The Wildcats made 12 3-point field goals in the second half, while LSU made just one of its last 12 free-throw attempts of the game. 

Feb. 16
1910: Kentucky smothered Tennessee on defense, amazingly allowing zero made field goals for the entire game. The Volunteers did make five free throws though, as the Wildcats won 20-5 at Buell Armory Gymnasium in Lexington. Kentucky had three players who scored more points than the entire Tennessee team: Richard Barbee (9 points), Shelby Post and William Rodes (6 points apiece). This was the first-ever meeting between Kentucky and Tennessee in men's basketball.
1970: No. 3 Kentucky imposed its will on the glass, outrebounding No. 20 Georgia 48-24, and shot an impressive 60.2-percent from the field en route to a 116-86 blowout victory over the Bulldogs at Memorial Coliseum. Senior Dan Issel stole the show for Kentucky, pouring in 40 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. Current UK Sports Network radio analyst Mike Pratt chipped in 23 points to be the team's second-leading scorer. 

Feb. 17
1964: No. 3 Kentucky shot 53 percent from the field, and limited No. 7 Vanderbilt to just 29.2 percent from the field, and that provided the difference in the Wildcats' dominating 104-73 victory over the Commodores at Memorial Coliseum. The quartet of Larry Conley, Ted Deeken, Charles Ishmael, and Cotton Nash combined to score more points than the entire Vanderbilt team (84-73). 
2015: No. 1 Kentucky struggled from the field against Tennessee, making 41.5-percent of their field-goal attempts, but made up for it from the charity stripe, making 17 of their 21 free-throw attempts in their 66-48 victory over the Volunteers in Knoxville. Tennessee performed quite the opposite from the charity stripe, making just four of their 10 free-throw attempts. This win set a new record for the best start to a season in school history (26-0). 

Feb. 18
1903: Kentucky narrowly defeated the Lexington YMCA, 11-10, at Buell Armory Gymnasium in Lexington. This was the Wildcats' first victory in school history. 
1950: No. 5 Kentucky overwhelmed outmatched Georgia Tech at Alumni Gymnasium in Lexington, thoroughly defeating the Yellow Jackets, 97-62. This game was all about sophomore Bill Spivey though. Spivey, Kentucky's first seven-foot player, made 16 field goals and eight free throws to become the first player in school history to score 40 points in a single game. 
1957: No. 3 Kentucky raced out to a convincing 17-point lead at halftime against No. 10 Vanderbilt, but had to hold on in the second half as the Wildcats narrowly defeated the Commodores 80-78 in a Top-10 matchup of conference foes at Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats' defense limited the Commodores to just 36-percent shooting from the field to aid in the victory. 

Feb. 19
1973: Kentucky saved its best for last against Georgia at Stegeman Coliseum. Trailing the Bulldogs by five points at halftime, the Wildcats outscored Georgia 59-41 in the second half to secure the 99-86 comeback victory. The difference in the game was at the charity stripe, where Kentucky made 21-of-22 free-throw attempts, while Georgia made all six of its free-throw attempts. Sophomore Kevin Grevey was the star in this game for the Wildcats, shooting a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line en route to a career-high 40 points.

Feb. 20
1956: No. 7 Kentucky raced out to a 20-point lead at the half against No. 6 Vanderbilt and cruised in the second half to upset the Commodores 76-55 at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington. The Wildcats' defense limited Vanderbilt to just 34-percent shooting from the field, and dominated on the glass, resulting in a plus-20 rebounding margin. Four players scored in double figures for Kentucky, led by senior Bob Burrow, who scored 34 points. 
2010: No. 2 Kentucky needed the heroics of a freshman point guard in the final minute of the game to secure a narrow 58-56 victory over No. 17 Vanderbilt at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville. Kentucky's John Wall made a layup and three free throws and blocked a potential game-winning 3-point field goal attempt by Vanderbilt, all in the final 40 seconds of the game, to get the win for the Wildcats.